Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Academic Scholarly Meetings

I've just read through the program of the Society of Health Economists. I kept asking myself, What do those folks know in some systematic way about how the health systems work? Can they have titles that give away the main point of their paper? Could there be rapporteurs who go to the sessions and tell us what is important and widely relevant?

Put differently, one might think that economists have a systemic view of the health care enterprise, so that all its various features are connected by a model. You have physicians and health workers, practices, hospitals, pharma, patients, payers and insurers and a variety of governmental programs. It would be a complicated model, but I think it might be described, and then we might ask how the system responds to various probes and shocks. We might also include various public health initiatives. Perhaps at the center would be patients, a diverse group to be sure, or maybe the physicians, or...

Of course, this is not only an economic system. It is much influenced by custom and nonpecuniary forces, and politics also plays a role. But one might model it in any case.

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